Health directorate plans to restart Covid-19 vaccination

Abu Sufian

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) is planning to restart the Covid-19 vaccination programme as infection of Covid sub-variant JN1 has started to increase in various countries, including India. Dr Mohammed Nizam Uddin, director of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) at the DGHS, told The Business Standard that the government is ready to restart vaccination if infection increases in the country. “We still have around seven lakh doses of Covid vaccine, which have not expired. Besides, more vaccines will come to the country.

“There will soon be a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on the resumption of vaccination. If the committee advises, we will start vaccination again.” The infection rate of Covid-19 in Bangladesh had been below 1% for a while, before rising to 3.80% today with 18 people found to be infected after testing the 885 samples. With a new Covid sub-variant, infection rate is increasing rapidly in various countries and there is a risk of the same being seen in Bangladesh. So far, the new variant has not been found in Bangladesh.

 

India has recorded 573 fresh cases of Covid-19 and two new fatalities while the number of active cases has increased to 4,565 as of 2 January. Public health expert Dr M Mushtuq Hussain said,

“Those who have not yet received the vaccine should be brought under the vaccination programme. However, a concern is that this new sub-variant is much more effective at evading the immune system.

As a result, its infection rate is high. “Still, it would be better to take up the vaccination programme again.”

Bangladesh started the Covid-19 vaccination programme in February 2021. The third and fourth doses of the vaccine were discontinued in February 2023.

Later, due to vaccine shortage and lack of public interest, the first and second doses were gradually stopped. According to the DGHS data, so far 15,92,95,000 people have received the first dose of Covid vaccination across the country. Also, 14,21, 93,942 people received the second dose.

As such, more than one crore people have not received the second dose of vaccination. Third dose was taken by 6,85,58,000 and fourth dose by 50,50,000.

Meanwhile, five to six lakh people have still not received a single dose of the vaccine. Public health experts have emphasised on taking necessary measures,

including precautionary steps at ports and compliance with hygiene rules, to avoid the spread of coronavirus and ensure the safety of the country’s population. At the same time, they advised to administer Covid booster doses to the vulnerable population on an urgent basis.

 

 


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